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Thread: Characteristics of elder-friendly parks?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005

    Characteristics of elder-friendly parks?

    Can someone please point me to a good resource for characteristics of an elder-friendly park?


  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    The first - obviously - is handicapped accessibility. I think you would also want a greater concentration of passice recreational uses. Gardens with good places to sit are common in many of the elderly-serving parks I have seen. But I think it is important to have uses for a mix of generations. Grandparents love to take the grandkids to a park where they can play - just ensure that you provide some separation in case others want to be apart from the kids.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    I can't think of any specific parks that are directed at the elderly, but we have numerous parks that are ADA compliant and have chess tables, shade, and easy access.

    I think Cardinal hit it on the head - passive recreation, easy accessibility, and cover. They do have weak skin you know.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    Beyond ADA compliant, you can look at Universal Design which seeks not just to accommodate folks with mobility issues, but to design spaces in which issues of mobility are not an issue. So, entrances to buildings at ground level, or ramped surfaces leading into a space that everyone (not just those in wheelchairs) use for access. UD strives to make all spaces (indoor and outdoor) accessible to everyone - design for the challenged and you accommodate everyone.

    At a park, I would think surface and grade considerations would be important, perhaps seating that is a little higher than typical (easier to sit and get up for older folks), discrete areas that provide stimulation to the senses - butterfly gardens, fountains, aromatics - and maybe looping options for walking that allow users to scale their movements to what they can handle (as opposed to just one long loop all the way around a park, for example).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    I saw a documentary once on one of these in the U.K. Can't remember its name or location to save my life.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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